Turmeric - the golden health booster
“Turmeric anything” could be the headline for this article as it’s increasingly becoming a sought after ingredient by consumers. Even on Google it shows that turmeric is among the high trending search terms when it comes to food. More than the flavour (which is very unique) turmeric is highly regarded due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric (also known as curcuma) is widely used as a dried powder in curries and other Middle Eastern and Asian dishes. It is also (mistakenly) called “Indian saffron” due to its bright yellow color. Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa which has a strong resemblance to ginger root.
Turmeric has been used throughout its long history as medicine, spice and even fabric dye.
Its origin is from India and Southeast Asia where it has been used for many thousand years and plays a strong part in the Ayurvedic diet.
About 800.000 tons of turmeric are produced each year with the majority coming from India. It is also sourced from other regions of the globe including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Central and South American countries.
The aroma of turmeric is very unique and quite strong. Flavor descriptors include warm, peppery and slightly bitter.
Health BenefitsWhile turmeric has always played a big role in the Ayurvedic medicine only recently the Western world has come to notice the many assets for a healthy and balanced diet.
When it comes to all the potential benefits turmeric has to offer it is important to know that they all are going back to one of its ingredients called curcumin.
The (still growing) list of potential health benefits of turmeric (curcumin) include:
- Better regulation of inflammation and blood sugar levels
- Cardiovascular Benefits
- Improvement of chronic digestive health problems like Crohn's disease
- Improved cognitive function
It is also worth noting that a large number of animal studies have consistently concluded a lower risk of cancer when curcumin is regularly added to the diet (for more see http://www.news-medical.net/?tag=/Curcumin)
Why is Turmeric interesting for the food industry?
Two factors play a big role in the rise in popularity of turmeric. First it aligns well with the bitter flavor trend and second, the potential health benefits resonate with consumers.
When James Beard Award–winning author Jennifer McLagan released her cookbook Bitter: A Taste of the World's Most Dangerous Flavor it was clear that bitter has begun to conquer the foodie world. What started within the Mixology communities and bars (rise in popularity of gin, vermouth and negronis) soon moved to the kitchen, starting with nordic cuisine. Bitter flavors add a very sophisticated sensory aroma to dishes, often elevating the eating experience.
Another area of interest is turmeric’s role in detoxification, ultimately supporting a balanced digestive tract. These implication have the potential to reach a fairly wide audience.
The number of new product launches including turmeric as an ingredient have been on the rise.
How to combine turmeric to meet consumer demandsThe spicy and exotic flavor of turmeric opens new opportunities for exciting products in unusual food categories. For example spoonable and drinkable yogurt provide the perfect blank pallet for this exciting ingredient.
One of the most popular homemade turmeric remedies ist called Golden Milk, which is a combination of turmeric along with coconut milk and coconut oil. In the meantime many coffee houses offer Golden Milk on the menu as an alternative to coffee drinks.
Another trendy combination is adding turmeric root to fruit and vegetable smoothies.
If you want to create an indulging product you can combine turmeric into into a sweet snack like cookies.
Perfect to snack on the go are Turmeric and honey biscuits.
Savory snacks are another way to use turmeric like adding it to the spice blend and serving it with some yogurt.
The number of products that include turmeric is expected to rise, driven by consumers seeking a wellness centric lifestyle as well as those adventurous eaters who enjoy new and exciting flavors. The versatile ways to combine turmeric makes it easy to create both sweet and savory products that meet current consumer demands.
Adding this multi-dimensional ingredient to your brands portfolio is definitely worth exploring.
Have you been inspired?
Together with us at AGRANA FRUIT you can develop new products that will meet today's consumer demands and support your sales.
We have a variety of solutions to meet your product development needs, including ones that feature Turmeric. Our team of experts is ready to help, please contact us to discuss your next project.